Collette Vacations announces employee-driven Foundation project08/15/2011 - Collette passengers have been unable to visit the site due to unrest in the area of the school and basic supplies are now desperately needed.
The Collette Foundation’s Mexico Task Force led by Chris Cahill, Collette programmer, and Lucas Bialecki, district sales manager, with assistance from Carol Wright, payroll accountant, recently wrapped up a month-long Collette employee drive to aid the Granja Hogar boarding school in Mexico. This facility has been supported by the Collette Foundation for over 6 years – providing funds for a mathematics program, purchase of new uniforms for the students, as well as renovation projects such as new lockers for the dorm rooms and new dining room furniture. The task force, made up of Collette employees, looked to its colleagues to donate basic items, like shoes and pants, backpacks and other school supplies.
The Granja Hogar boarding school was opened in 1956 to support abandoned children from poor or orphaned families. With a staff of 44 teachers and volunteers, the Granja Hogar currently is home to 156 students. The vast majority of the students at the Granja Hogar are Raramuri, or Tarahumara, the indigenous people of Northern Mexico. The Tarahumara people are declining in population with less than 70,000 remaining. Cultural preservation is a pillar of education at the Granja Hogar as is becoming a strong individual who can make a positive impact in the world.
“In addition to normal funding needs, the current situation in Mexico has created more challenges, as local and international funding has dried up,” says Allison Villasenor, programs manager for the Foundation. “People are not travelling to that region, so La Granja Hogar has not been receiving the small donations that Collette clients usually bring with them.”
A drop box was placed in each department at Collette’s headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the department that collected the most supplies was awarded a catered Mexican lunch, said Villasenor. In addition to the drive for basic supplies, the Collette Foundation this year will fund the construction of new restroom facilities.